04 Feb 2014


UNIFE—the European Rail Industry Association, on behalf of the promoting organisations of SHIFT²RAIL, is pleased to announce that more than 100 organisations (rail manufacturers, railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, research institutes and universities and SMEs) have committed to bringing their expertise to the SHIFT²RAIL initiative during its preparatory phase.

This is a major milestone since 2011 when the European rail sector began preparing this ambitious, multiannual, large-scale, market oriented and industrially-driven Research and Innovation programme with the goal of making rail transport more attractive to millions of European passengers and freight users and boosting the competitiveness of the most sustainable transport mode.

These 100 organisations operate throughout the European Union with a presence in nearly every EU member state. On this European-wide scale, SHIFT²RAIL will encompass research, innovation and demonstration activities in all aspects of the rail system, amounting to €920 million, co-financed by the EU and the private sector under the Horizon2020 budget across the 7 year lifespan of the initiative.

SHIFT²RAIL will not only maintain and improve the competitiveness of EU industry against growing competition from abroad, but it will overcome some of the present deficiencies of the EU rail market, namely: fragmentation of production, low collaboration and partnership among the rail industry, different operating procedures among RUs, low standardisation and low efficiency.

The promoting companies, in support of the European Commission’s proposal for a Council regulation to establish the SHIFT²RAIL Joint Undertaking, are awaiting an opinion from the Parliament and hope to see adoption by the Council before the end of the Greek Presidency in June. If this process goes as expected, the JU will be formed and R&D activities could begin as early as 2015.

The promoting companies, potential Greek stakeholders, the Greek Presidency, and high-level representatives from the European Institutions will hold a conference on SHIFT²RAIL in Athens, Greece on 19 February. If you would like to learn more about this event, please contact

To view all of the promoting organisations, please visit

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